Anxiety and Insomnia
Getting uninterrupted night sleep is essential to be able to work or function properly the next day. But for many individuals, getting proper sleep and staying asleep is not easy. Anxiety and insomnia are the common health conditions that might hamper the ability to fall asleep. Both these conditions can cause a person to lay awake for hours, speculating if they will ever get sleep before the day starts again. If you are struggling with insomnia or anxiety, then you are not alone.
Link Between Insomnia and Anxiety
Insomnia is a condition, wherein a person faces difficulty in falling sleep, staying asleep, waking up early or waking up feeling exhausted. On the other hand, anxiety is the body’s natural response to strain or stress, where you feel fear or apprehension about what would happen next. You might experience anxiety disorder if your feelings of anxiety last for six months or longer, are extreme, or are affecting your relationships and daily life.
Does Insomnia Cause Anxiety or Anxiety Cause Sleeplessness?
Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of anxiety disorder. Moreover, sleeplessness can also prevent recovery or can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Anxiety can also cause disrupted sleep in the form of nightmares or insomnia. The relationship between sleep and mental health is perhaps not completely understood, but a report by Harvard Health Publishing suggests that a proper night’s sleep helps develop both emotional and mental resilience, and chronic sleep disruptions may generate negative thinking.
Do You Have Insomnia?
If you think you have insomnia, you should talk to a physician. Apart from a physical test, your medic might recommend you to maintain a sleep diary for some weeks. If your physician believes that a sleep disorder like insomnia is a probability, they may suggest you to seek advice from a trained sleep specialist. An experienced sleep specialist may recommend a polysomnogram test, which is also known as sleep study. During this test, different physical activities a person experiences during sleep are monitored electronically and then interpreted.
Medicines for Insomnia and Anxiety
Initially, doctors should consider non-pharmacological treatments. Empathetic listening, guidance and reassurance should always be given. Specific psychotherapeutic techniques like cognitive-behavioural therapy are productive measures to reduce insomnia and anxiety. Non specific supportive therapy might initially be given to patients suffering from sleep disorders or uncomplicated generalized anxiety. Additionally, relaxation techniques may be offered. For better therapeutic results, medications must be used along with good sleep practices. Here is medication for insomnia and anxiety, such as:
Benzodiazepines: These sleeping pills – Halcion, Restoril and others – might be useful for insomnia medication which stays in the body longer. They have been used effectively to treat sleep problems like night terrors and sleep walking. However, these drugs may cause some adverse effects. They can cause dependence and addiction.
Silenor: This sleep medicine is recommended by the physicians for individuals who have problem in staying asleep. It may assist with sleep maintenance by obstructing histamine receptors. People should not consume this sleep pill unless they are able to get seven or eight hours of sleep.
Lunesta: This drug helps to fall asleep quickly. Many studies have shown that individuals sleep an average of seven to eight hours. People are advised not to consume this pill unless they are able to get full night sleep as it can cause dazed feeling. Due to the danger of impairment the next day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends the starting dosage to not exceed 1 milligram.
Antidepressants:There are some antidepressants for insomnia and anxiety, such as trazadone, which are good are treating anxiety and sleeplessness.
Natural Therapies for Insomnia and Anxiety
Many people experience anxiety and insomnia. Sleeplessness can make it tough for a person to get sleep and stay asleep.Furthermore,anxiety disorder can cause extreme fatigue, muscle ache, increased blood pressure, stomach upset, breathing problems, headache, etc. There are some natural remedies for insomnia and anxiety that can help people deal with these two conditions.
Meditation –Mindfulness meditation comprises of steady, slow breathing while sitting restfully. You observe your sensations, feelings, thoughts, body and breath as they rise and pass. It has several health benefits which go in tandem with healthy lifestyle encouraging good sleep. Meditation boosts immunity, improves concentration and reduces stress.
Mantra Repetition – Repeating a mantra can help you to focus better and relax your mind. Mantras or positive affirmations produce feelings of relaxation and calmness by calming the mind. You may select a mantra in English, Sanskrit or another language. Searching online is a good way to get ideas for mantras. Choose a calming and pleasant mantra.
Exercise –Exercise boosts general health, and can enhance mood, promote better sleep, aid weight loss and give more energy. Many studies have found that regular exercises significantly reduce symptoms of insomnia, depression and anxiety. You should do moderate exercises for a minimum of 20 minutes daily. You may add vigorous aerobic exercise or strength training a few times per week.
Yoga – Yoga is known to contribute towards good sleep and decrease symptoms of anxiety. It may also boost mental focus, improve physical functioning and alleviate stress. Choose a style, which focuses on moving breath work or meditation, as opposed to tough physical movements. Controlled, slow movements will allow a person to stay focused and present. Restorative yoga and Yin are great options. Try to do some longer sessions every week, and a minimum of twenty minutes of daily self-practice. Doing the postures before going to sleep at night can help you to unwind and relax.
Though, treatment for insomnia and anxiety includes both natural and medical therapies, you should first try to get professional advice from an experienced sleep specialist or doctor before taking any medication or performing exercise or yoga. It must also be noted that changing one’s lifestyle and incorporating healthy eating, drinking and sleeping habits can go a long way in preventing anxiety, sleeplessness, depression or any other conditions. Living a healthy lifestyle promotes adequate sleep and negates anxiety disorders.